Blood and Maple

Blood and Maple

A Story by Evangeline

(Currently a work in progress) Living with an undesirable person can really kill a person


There were little, if any, qualities about the man that could be considered cordial, appealing,  or even worthy of the redemption he was seeking from the Catholics. Living with him was a constant battle against the waste and dirt and smells he left in his wake. I surrendered to the mess after years of attempting to maintain cleanliness. He made himself dinner (as I was inclined to vomit by the monotonous menu) every night, and left the food out for days at a time before he did the dishes. The smell of rancid meat and sour beans was not uncommon near the stove. The place was filled with lurking spiders and trails of ants in an otherwise well-kept house.

I avoided speaking to him from a vicinity of anything closer than across the room. He claimed to maintain his oral hygiene. I was unsure of the cause of the smell. I suspected neglect, but upon helping myself to his toothpaste after a shortage of my own, I suspected neglect and expired hygienic products. His body wash, an older variation of Old Spice, was equally as revolting. The boar bristle brush he kept in his medicine cabinet was an astonishing specimen of black mold and decades of dandruff buildup. I remember wondering how many potatoes I could have fried if I had used a credit card to scrape the oil off his face.

Eating near him was not only torture because of the unsanitary conditions of the kitchen, but also because of the deafening sound of his eating. His teeth gnashed and clicked and his tongue smacked. He took a deep breath as he swallowed, and the sound of his throat contracting resembled that of a pig. The fork never failed to scrape the plate to create satan's talons on a chalkboard. The sounds caused a bitter self awareness, making eating around him an impossible task. I became fearful that my chewing would be as horrifically obnoxious as his. I was absolutely revolted and found myself unable to eat.

His laugh was an indescribable guttural whining. His voice changed as he talked to various people. It went from a fraud southern accent, to condescending, to high pitched, to pretentious. He had an ineffable talent of ruining any song in the world by singing it off key in a high pitched or mocking tone.

His attempts at affection stirred the deepest feeling of discomfort I have ever experienced in my life. I avoided every possible situation that could have placed me within two feet of him. I refused to be handed anything in fear of his finger accidentally grazing mine. The slightest physical contact with the man made my skin crawl. I had the urge to frantically rub my hands on my jeans and wash them immediately. More than once had I wished I could have burned the sensation of being touched out and off of my body.

Even the sound of him breathing was terrorizing. The whistle from his unnecessarily deep breaths resonated. The longer he breathed, the louder the sounds grew. I would catch myself almost matching his breathing pattern and felt the utmost disgust with myself. Much like my inability to eat while he did, I refused to breathe while in his presence.

His definition of a heated argument was, in all reality, an idiopathic circle with no clear logic. Moving out was my goal, but I had not thought long enough on the subject, and therefore could not present it with a logical, linear approach.  My head was always clear, unlike his. The sharp difference in maturity and intellect  reminded me to hold my tongue while he ranted. I always had the upper hand if I allowed him to contradict himself as he spoke. Doing so was never pleasant, due to the fact I was required to listen to him. His negativity and ranting was directed straight to me.

After another relentless verbal maiming, I sat in the darkness of a back room. My breathing was calm, but my heart was racing. I could feel my body temperature rising with the adrenaline. My body was tense and I had an overwhelming urge to scream. Despite my distress, rationality and a calm demeanor were the only options in my situation.  Under no circumstances would I allow myself to confront the man while distraught. I was above him. I was the bigger person. I ventured upstairs into my bedroom.

It was a dream state. It was a haze. A numb reality. The Louisville wasn't glistening, begging me to swing it. It was propped against the wall in the corner. Filthy, beaten, smudged, cracked and taped. Truly loved and worn. Laying on my bed, I watched the glorified stick. I kept it within reach of my bed to calm an inexplicable paranoia during the day while I slept. I knew how protect myself if need be. Bent slight at the waist, right leg straight, left knee bent, back elbow up, hands low and loose on the swing, my right foot up to transfer the weight to the back and forward with the blow.

The ticking of my clock echoed. I became lost in the steady beat. It was calm, but not comforting. Something about the consistent clicks, the guaranteed continuity of them, caused me a sense of blind panic. I held a pillow, and somewhere amidst my silent terror, sleep found me.

When I awoke, the deep red shadow of sunset streamed through my blinds in slits that landed on the Louisville. Red had been a color worthy of absolute loathing my entire life, and to see the bat accentuated by the deep hues brought about a maddening annoyance. I decided to move it away from the sunlight.

The weight of the maple was familiarly uneven. Feeling the smoothness of the barrel and where the tape started to peel brought back a memory of standing at the plate. Looking into the eyes of a pitcher, determined to intimidate him more than he scared me and praying to God he threw a fast ball down the middle.

Then the ticking of the clock incorporated itself into the memory. I stood in the middle of my room, gripping the bat with a white knuckled fist, listening to my heart race faster with every tick.

Something had to be done.

The neighborhood was full of laughing children and barking dogs, as was usual for a Thursday afternoon. Basketballs bounced off parked vehicles, and airmen were forced to walk their motorcycles through the crowd of schoolchildren. Mothers divided their attention between scolding the younger ones and gossiping on a porch.

Late May was a disgusting period of heat in Northern California that year. I stayed in the shade, knowing that the sun would bake the blood that had soaked into my clothing. I held the two broken pieces of my once prized Louisville in each hand, regretting the absolute hell out of the consequence of my actions. That had been my favorite bat. In addition to my glorified maple branch being destroyed and splintered, my favorite jeans, shoes, and jersey were forever stained. My hair was matted with both our blood. It would have to be cut, my beautifully long, auburn hair.

Soured iron and vomit were the only smells I could smell, despite my cover of shade. I found it entirely pointless to remain where I sat. I laid the broken bat on the ground, and stepped into the front lawn. The poppy seeds I had thrown into the grass were starting to sprout. There were no buds yet, but I knew within days the orange menaces to the otherwise cookie cutter neighborhood would spread like wildfire. My final act of passive terrorism.

Maybe I hadn't noticed, or perhaps it did happen all at once. Silence overtook the streets, and there was a sudden stillness. I felt a set of young eyes staring at what he must have perceived as the ultimate monstrosity of his still new life. Nobody had the sense to move, to call anyone.

So I broke the stillness and sat on the curb and waited.

© 2015 Evangeline

Author's Note

I finally finished!

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incredible intriguing writing oh how i have and many of us probably have somewhat lived this situation..well done....nichole

Posted 1 Year Ago

The focus of a mind's circling and circling as unreasoning rage grows and spills out into a now... I make no excuses - nor judgement toward either character... just as you made no reasons for justification. The anger was palpable; the rage ...senseless; the story ...remorseless.

Posted 1 Year Ago

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Really caught my attention from the start, maybe got a little too disgusted by the description of the guy, ugh.

Posted 2 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on May 12, 2014
Last Updated on October 21, 2015
Tags: abuse, mental, violence, hate, death, isolation, father, daughter, disgust, determination, gore, escape, baseball bat, murder



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